Stop #10 – Grand Canyon
Though my butt started to feel slight numbness again, I felt invigorated on our drive to the Grand Canyon. Just a few hours west from the Four Corners the scenery along US-89 slowly gets more rocky with orange soil. Who knew soil could be such a vibrant color?
Reason 1: The Rocks
I will never think of rocks as boring again. There are miles and miles of land where the only thing that seems to grow are rocks. Boulders as tall as buildings appear to grow from the ground, and in some places, seem magically piled on top of each other in precarious ways. I’d never thought I’d be as fascinated by rocks as I was that day. And, my fascination only grew as big as the destination we were nearing.
Reason 2: Giant Views of Holes
We arrived at the Grand Canyon National park around 2:30 pm to view what is essentially a giant, endless pit. We had no idea that our visit would last until 5pm. Neither my hubby nor I expected to be open-mouthed in awe of the scenery surrounding us for miles and miles on end. Just when I thought I’d seen enough, we turn a corner where there’s a different contrast of colors and balancing mountains. Driving along the roads, we kept stopping at different points, taking another picture of a seemingly unique rock cluster or chasm. Shifting in my seat from one cheek to another, letting one hip rest from numbness at a time, but too distracted from the live view in front of me to care about sores.
Hubby and I were so enamored that we lost track of time.
Reason 3: Feeling Insignificant
The canyons, balancing rocks, and insanely strong winds reminded me of just how weak we humans are compared to the strength of nature. Such insignificant little ants we are, wandering around the outskirts of a canyon. We were mere insects venturing to cross a pothole. It’s strange how feeling insignificant gives a new perspective and appreciation of life and the world beneath our feet.
I wish I could describe the magnitude of the park to a better degree – its vastness in beauty and size. There’s a reason it’s called Grand.
Reasons 4: Foreign Exchange and History Lessons
People with different accents from all over the world were drop-jawed with us, sharing the same spectacular views from seemingly endless angles. The historical Desert View Watchtower caught my breath. I looked up with a lurch in my throat as I saw the dizzying height from the center of the tower to see the swirling stone steps and painted walls telling stories from way back when.
The tower was filled with travelers who ventured over oceans to appreciate this view with us. The tower is a historical landmark of the Native Americans who utilized the tower as a lookout point. And there I was, walking the same stone steps with an entirely different purpose. It’s an incredible piece of history that I, sadly, didn’t know anything about.
Reason 5: Cheap Fees
We bought so many souvenirs to remember our experience – tee shirts, nick knacks, prickly pear flavored foods, seeds to plant… It all amounted to way more than our entrance fee – $25. But, how often were we going to have the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon? And, this was one of our last stops for our once-in-a-lifetime trip. A sinking feeling of sadness weighed our feet as we dragged ourselves back to the car and slowly drove through the trees towards our next stop.
Reason 6: Once Is NOT Enough
Don’t expect to be fully satisfied after leaving the park. Honestly, I just wanted more and more time there. The Grand Canyon definitely makes my bucket list for return visits. Camping sounds like a good idea.
I was actually jealous as I heard campers get warned of potential snow that night. Yes, they’d be freezing their butts off, but they got to stay longer than we did.
Hubby and I saw a herd of female moose grazing as we exited, as well as a coyote crossing half a mile apart. I interpreted the animal sightings as farewells from the park.
Reason 7: Seeing is Believing
The amazing part of a trip like this has been how pictures and videos really cannot grasp the magnitude of the sights we were seeing. We see easily see these gorgeous images of landscapes, and wonder in the back of our minds (or, at least I did) whether they’ve been doctored or photo-shopped.
We see so much that’s amazing, but isn’t real. As corny as this may sound, my eyes, my ears, and my heart were grateful to see that our real world truly is amazing.
No Photoshop needed.
Join the conversation!
Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think. Have you been to the Grand Canyon? What was your experience? If you haven’t, do you want to go, now?
Let me know your thoughts!